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One Way Car Rentals - Rental Car Travel Tips

Updated on March 25, 2010

Renting One Way Vehicles is a Spendy Proposition!

Personally I have considered renting a car to go from Las Vegas to Los Angeles many times and then in the interest of time fly back. For me the hassle of checking bags, taking friends, and having to deal with airports is worth the extra expense... right up to the point I price it out. And every time I check out the rates and add up all the “extra” costs I end up just driving my own car. But that’s my situation, what about you? Would a one way car rental work for you?

Two cost factors come into play when considering a one way car rental the first being the higher than normal “Base Rate” the second being very expensive “Drop Off Fees”.

So Why Would Anyone Bother with a One Way Rental Car When They Could Fly for Much Less?

  • Say you have a Kilo of Crack to move State-to-State and your old clunker just doesn’t have the mechanical reliability to make the trip. I mean you can’t be caught on the side of the road with a Kilo of Crack and call for a tow truck can you? And those pesky Airlines always going through your bags? So it’s big win for drug dealers… who don’t care at all about a little extra cost right? Okay seriously this might be a reason from someone else to rent, but how about you?
  • Some people fear flying. It’s that simple. Even though statistically speaking flying is so much safer than driving they can not cope with the thought of flying.
  • Some people don’t want to be tied to a schedule and for these people it’s the journey and not the destination that matters. They want to take the big cross country trip and not put the miles on their own car. And they don’t have the time or desire to drive all the way back. Once you’ve driven across country you’ve done it… your tired and you don’t want to do it all over again just to get home.
  • You have to much baggage or too many people with baggage to make a short trip economically. Personally if you have a lot of bags and 4 or 5 people making a last minute trip of 400 miles or less it may be cheaper to rent a car.

So there are a few possible reasons one may want to consider a one way rental.

What You Need to Know about One Way Rentals

  • One way rentals are nearly always based on availability so you probably won’t get the exact type of car you want.
  • If you need to extend the length of your rental your contract will probably stipulate your need to return to the original office to sign the paperwork. How are you going to do that?
  • State Laws!!! California has it’s messed up fingers in nearly every possible way. You are liable for all damage to rental vehicles regardless of fault. Laws change from State to State. This may be the one time that it’s worth buying the rental companies collision damage waiver.
  • Each driver must be over 25 and needs to be on the original agreement or you are asking for trouble. Some companies charge additional rates for more than one driver.
  • Destination drop off locations. The fact is you may want to go to an area where the destination drop of is very inconvenient.

And this is just the tip of the legalize you'll need to be sure and understand to protect yourself. Don't count on the guy/gal at the counter to tell you the facts as they are on commission and that's how they make their real money.

Extras that may put Your One Way Car Rental Plans Out of Reach

  • GPS Navigation – will you want this for new cities you’ll be exploring? Add on about $15 a day
  • Child Safety Seats - $12-$15 per day if available
  • Fuel Services – Car companies love it when you prepay at $3 a gallon for a “full tank” because you almost never return the car empty. If this convenience is worth it to you then add on a one time fee of $75-$125
  • Loss Damage Waiver - $25-$30 a day
  • Personal Accident Insurance - $4-5 a day
  • Personal Effects Protection - $3 a day
  • Additional Liability Coverage - $15 a day (Check your Auto Insurance Policy First)
  • Customer Facility Charges - $3 a day
  • Government Service Fees – enough already right? 10%
  • Registration and License Fees - 6%
  • Concession Recovery Fee and Tax – got anything left in your wallet – open gently and shake remaining amount on to rental car counter

The actual fee for the rental car is starting to look cheap in comparison to the additional fees, taxes, and surcharges! nd Boy oh Boy do the One Way Rental Car Fees Add up in a Hurry! One way Car Rental is not cheap!

Rental Tip: If you are going to pony up and rent the one way vehicle in spite of cost. Consider renting point-to-point, then once you arrive at your destination drop off the car and get another rental locally.Avis, Hertz, and Budget are the most known one way vehicle rental outfits, but you'll we well served to shop around!

So have you actually rented one way for your own needs? How did it work out for you?

Comments Welcome.

Ready to Hit the Open Road - One Way Car Rental Considerations

Can you afford to hit the Open Road in a One Way Rental Car?
Can you afford to hit the Open Road in a One Way Rental Car?


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  • H P Roychoudhury profile image

    H P Roychoudhury 8 years ago from Guwahati, India

    good idea for testing.